Getting on with the day-job? First Minister is in Brussels for 201st attempt to counter Tory Brexit damage to Scottish economy


(c) PA Wire/PA Images

From Insider today:

‘The First Minister will officially open Scotland House and also meet Michel Barnier to raise fears about Brexit’s ‘damaging uncertainty’. Nicola Sturgeon is set to officially open the expanded Scotland House in Brussels – a hub for Scottish businesses in Europe’

The first Minister said:

‘People and businesses are desperate for clarity on Brexit, but with just months to go before the withdrawal agreement has to be signed, the UK Government still cannot agree a position. This damaging uncertainty could come to an immediate end if only the UK Government would put jobs and living standards first and agree to continuing single market and customs union membership – for Scotland and the whole of the UK. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, we are committed to continuing our collaboration, our friendship and our partnership with other European countries.’

This visit comes after it emerged that the Scottish government has completed around 200 engagements from early 2017, in Europe, and beyond, including the Baltic, the Arctic and the Scandinavian areas. See this:

‘More than 200 engagements between Scottish Government ministers and European governments, institutions and organisations have taken place since the start of 2017. The ‘strong desire’ to connect with Scotland and listen to our views signals that the EU continues to see Scotland as an important partner – according to External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop. In just 16 months, Scottish Government ministers have initiated or accepted more than 200 meetings and visits with European partners, which on average means a European engagement has taken place at least three times per week.’

Some of the more notable engagements have included:

  1. The opening of Scottish Government Hubs in Berlin and Dublin
  2. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s visits to Dublin, Bonn and Utrecht
  3. Engagements by the First Minister and Michael Russell in Brussels
  4. High level meetings by Fiona Hyslop in Paris, The Hague and Berlin
  5. Engagements by Europe Minister Alasdair Allan in Oslo, Riga and Bratislava
  6. Hosting an Arctic Circle gathering in Edinburgh
  7. Hosting visits by delegations from EU member states and institutions to Scotland
  8. Co-hosting in Edinburgh the OECD Rural Development Conference
  9. Briefing sessions with the Scotland-based Consular Corps
  10. Meetings between Scottish Ministers and EU Ambassadors


5 thoughts on “Getting on with the day-job? First Minister is in Brussels for 201st attempt to counter Tory Brexit damage to Scottish economy

  1. John May 28, 2018 / 7:51 am

    Yes all that , and what did Gary Robertson do when he had Mike Russell on to talk about the visit of the FM to Brussel’s on GMS ? , he tried desperately to turn it into a debate about independence ! .Mike told him to p*** off , (diplomatically of course ) .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald. May 28, 2018 / 11:25 am

      As part of my job before I retired we were given media training to be able to cope satisfactorily with the kinds of questions interviewers would ask and how to detect the kinds of agenda they were trying to push. I have to say, it was quite an eye opener for me – we are talking of c25 years ago.
      One of the things that was a revelation to me was that, I had the power to ask exactly what the first couple of questions would be; not just the general drift, but the actual words to be used. I remember seeing an interview to which Alex Ferguson agreed to do while he was walking along a street. He asked what the questions would be and then he said, decisively, “And that’s all.” We were also advised on how to respond when there were interruptions, which was, essentially, to say, “That unless you let me answer the question asked the interview is finished”.
      Now, politicians are seasoned interviewees and know these techniques. However, not all are all that skilled at deploying them. However, Mike Russell comes into the strongly assertive class.
      I wish more people who were being interviewed were more assertive about control, particularly when the interview is being set up.
      A particularly effective technique that Mrs Thatcher often deployed was to turn the question back to the interviewer, “Well? What would you do?”

      However, the media often record interviews and edit them before broadcast so that they can give it the spin they want: a particularly egregious example being the BBC Political Editor’s presentation of an exchange he had with Alex Salmond during the 2014 referendum.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. David Braidwood May 28, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I’m now of the opinion that any credibility the BBC had is long gone. Their reputation is shot thanks, in the main, to people like you calling them out on their distortion. Keep plugging away, we’re getting there.


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